North Carolina vs. Iowa State Prediction and Odds for Friday, November 25 (UNC Finally Wakes Up)

North Carolina Tar Heels forward Armando Bacot (5)
North Carolina Tar Heels forward Armando Bacot (5) / Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The North Carolina Tar Heels came into the year as the No. 1 team in the country and they still hold that distinction at 5-0, but it hasn’t looked the way you would expect. Yesterday, it was an 89-81 win over Portland in the Phil Knight Invitational. Gardner Webb also gave them a scare 10 days ago. Today will be their toughest test of the season as they continue the Phil Knight Invitational against the 4-0 Iowa State Cyclones. 

It’s a little black friday basketball and if we’re spending money today, we might as well make a little bit back on this game. Let’s take a look at the odds. 

North Carolina vs. Iowa State Odds, Spread and Total

North Carolina vs. Iowa State Prediction and Pick

North Carolina has essentially brought everyone back from last year’s Final Four team and even replaced Bradey Manek with Pete Nance, a grad transfer from Northwestern who is averaging 14.0 points this season. Caleb Love has taken even another step as a primary initiator, averaging 18.8 points and 3.4 assists, both lead the team, and they still have Armando Bacot. 

This team is awesome and they’re loaded with talent. Yesterday, they shot the ball 50% from three, but they just didn’t defend against Portland. I get the feeling that they just aren’t getting up for these early season games against weaker opponents and there isn’t some bigger issue. I do think that a close one with Portland in a tournament like the Phil Knight Invitational was a big enough wake up call for the veteran Tar Heels and they will roll over Iowa State easily today. Maybe I’m wrong and they need to lose a game to really start playing well, but I don’t think so. 

If they try to sleep walk through this game then Iowa State is good enough to beat them. Osun Osunniyi was the defensive player of the year in the A10 before transferring to the Cyclones and could give Bacot trouble down low, while Jaren Holmes and Gabe Kalscheur carry the offensive load. I just don’t know that a team that is shooting 26.9% from three through four games will be able to score with the No. 1 team in the country. 

Pick: UNC -5 (-110)

Follow all Josh Yourish’s bets HERE

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change